Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Impairment and Disability in the Ancient World CLASSIC4084

  • Academic Session: 2020-21
  • School: School of Humanities
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Either Semester 1 or Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course explores the literary, documentary, archaeological, and bioarchaeological evidence for impairment and disability in the ancient world, and examines the lived experience of impaired and disabled individuals in the ancient world.


1x1hr lecture; 1x1hr seminar per week over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. This is one of the Honours options in Classics and may not run every year. The options that are running this session are available on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Available to all students fulfilling requirements for Honours entry in Classics, and by arrangement to visiting students or students of other Honours programmes who qualify under the University's 25% regulation.

Excluded Courses





Essay (3,000 words) - 60%

Worksheet (2,000 words) - 40%

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Provide students with the opportunity to become familiar with impairment and disability in the ancient world, an aspect of ancient culture and society that is often overlooked.

■ Engage closely with the different types of evidence for impairment and disability in the ancient world and evaluate their historical worth.

■ Engage closely with theoretical approaches to impairment and disability in other historical periods and the contemporary world and evaluate their appropriateness and relevance to the ancient world.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify cases of impairment and disability in the historical record.

■ Evaluate the ancient literary, documentary, archaeological, and bioarchaeological evidence for these examples.

■ Place these examples in their larger historical, cultural, and social context.

■ Formulate their own opinions regarding how these examples and the evidence for them have been received and repurposed from antiquity to the present, and argue them in a lucid and scholarly manner.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.